Family Scholar House had 1,081 volunteers in 2012 and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without their support. With summer coming to an end, we wanted to share the reflections of one of those volunteers from over the summer, Lori, a student in the Governor’s Scholars Program on the Bellarmine University campus.
Thursday was one of those Kentucky summer days that are simultaneously fantastic and tortuous for its heat and brightness. Twelve other volunteers and myself climbed four flights of narrow stairs up through the Early Learning Campus (ELC) until we arrived at Family Scholar House’s newly-renovated rooftop garden. The plants were growing tall and healthy, but unfortunately, so were the weeds – our challenge for the day.
The garden is a lovely and peaceful place to spend an hour, even if you’re spending it pulling weeds. It’s meant for more than appearances, however; FSH residents grow vegetables in the garden. Many residents and non-residential program participants, according to Kate, come from neighborhoods and communities without fresh produce. Kate says the goal of the rooftop garden is to provide “teaching and healthy eating” to the children living with FSH. FSH provides more than just a meal to its residents; it helps to meet all of their living and housing needs.
My group next found ourselves being led down to the basement of the FSH office building, still smelling like sweat and soil. Furniture and clothing sat piled in every corner of the room in preparation for the opening of FSH’s newest residential facility. We spent a fun half hour or so sorting through clothing donations and getting a better understanding of just how much the community comes together to help the families as the parents work to get their college degrees. After just one day, I can see how important it is for volunteers in the Louisville area to support single-parent families in their community through organizations like Family Scholar House.
Thursday was one of those days that are hot, fun, and rewarding. My group will be coming back to Family Scholar House soon to have many more days like it.
Governor’s Scholar Program 2013